What are eligible and ineligible expenses for grants received through the Tri-Council agencies?

While the list below is not exhaustive, it highlights some common expenses that may or may not be claimed against grants received from Tri-Council agencies. The general principle is that award monies must be put towards the direct costs of the funded research project. Supporting documentation, such as original receipts, invoices, and statements justifying the expenses are required by the funding agencies. Indirect costs such as basic utilities, administrative costs, and office equipment are supplied by the institution. For a more detailed breakdown of the proper use of grant funds, please visit NSERC Use of Grant Funds. 

*Note: The items listed below were extracted from the Tri-Agency (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) Financial Administration Guide, but they may also apply to other funding agencies.

SALARIES

Eligible Expenses:

- Salaries and benefits for work performed by research personnel that contributes to the direct cost of the funded research.
- Stipends paid to trainees (e.g., students) in accordance with institutional policies.
- Honoraria for individuals who are not eligible to hold a Tri-Council award, e.g., researchers/faculty from non-Canadian institutions.
- Fees related to participant recruitment and remuneration (if approved by the Research Ethics Board).
- Consulting fees.
- Clerical salaries directly related to the dissemination of research, e.g., manuscript preparation.

Ineligible Expenses:

- Grantee's salary or consulting fee.
- Honoraria for individuals who are eligible to hold a Tri-Council award.
- Administrative charges.
- Any form of compensation for co-applicants and collaborators of the grant.
- CIHR: Payments to practicing clinicians; Release Time Allowance (RTA).

TRAVEL

Eligible Expenses:

- Air Travel (economy fare only).
- Meals and accommodation.
- Travel cancellation insurance and seat reservation charges.
- Entry Visa fee (for grantees and/or research personnel when required for research purposes).
- Travel health insurance (for research personnel who do not receive any such benefits from their institution and/or other sources).
- Safety-related expenses for field work, e.g., immunizations.
- Trips limited to 125 days per person per year (SSHRC/NSERC).

Ineligible Expenses:

- Passport and immigration fees.
- International driver's licenses.
- Commuting costs between home and place of employment, or between two places of employment.
- Reimbursement for airfare purchased with frequent flyer points programs.
- Living expenses during sabbatical leave.

EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES

Eligible Expenses:

- Stationery used for data collection, e.g., questionnaires, workshops, and seminars.
- Printing of manuals and e-journal articles relevant to the research project.
- Extended warranty for equipment.
- Transportation costs for purchased equipment.
- Costs for training staff to use research equipment.

Ineligible Expenses:

- Insurance costs for equipment.
- Costs of the construction, renovation, or rental of research facilities.
- Basic utilities such as heat, water, and light.
- Purchase or rental of standard office equipment.
- Sales taxes to which exemption or rebate applies.
- Monthly parking for vehicles.

COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS

Eligible Expenses:

- Computers, hardware, software, modems, and cellular phones when necessary for data collection (with adequate justification).
- Monthly plan fees for electronic devices required for research purposes, e.g., for data collection.

Ineligible Expenses:

- Home internet costs.
- Standard monthly connection, installation, or rental fees for telephones.
- Voicemail.
- Library acquisitions.

DISSEMINATION OF RESEARCH RESULTS

Eligible Expenses:

- Costs of developing web-based information, including website maintenance fees.
- Costs associated with the dissemination of findings, e.g., videos, CD-ROMs.
- Page charges for articles published.
- Manuscript preparation.
- Translation costs.
- Costs for hosting workshops or seminars directly related to the funded research (including meals and non-alcoholic refreshments).

SERVICES AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES

Eligible Expenses:

- Costs of purchasing books, periodicals, and specialized office supplies.
- Hospitality costs for networking.

Ineligible Expenses:

- Entertainment or gifts other than those specified under eligible costs.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Computer and language training.
- Patenting expenses.
- Costs of memberships in professional associations.